Monthly Archives: January 2014

Who do you think you are?

Do bullies call you verbose?two young girls laughing behind another girls back

The media you choose (the ‘net, Facebook, blogs, TV/movies, a game you’d rather be playing right now) contributes to a unique combination of words at your beck and call.

  • Occupational terms you use daily, whether tech jargon or 30 variations of “burger and fries.”
  • “What’s it to ya, eh?” Walmart vernacular.
  • “Street cred” vanity phrases we use to look excellent. Learned (at best) in the street or (at worst) on a diet of gritty TV dramas.
  • Period and foreign nuances we see around us or purposely study.

Writers are often more aware of the vast array of words available; but does our vocabulary set us free or box us into certain memes and themes?

Linguistic determinism has been largely debunked but it seems intuitive, for instance, that an42-15593017 Inuit hunter with thirty words for snow, an ancient Roman officer with 30 words for win, and a French tween with thirty words for love would each find certain lines of thought easier, if only because the words describing certain themes are familiar and abundant.

Does our ability to manipulate words like a winning team handles the ball enable us to transcend language or does our ability to embrace and lose ourselves in them make our stories more palatable?

Food for thought.

You Can Write in 2014

candleThey say never to explain how to using the words we can’t. But here goes:

We can’t learn to write by reading any more than we can learn to decorate by flipping through a magazine, to cook by reading recipes, or to have a happy life by reading Dear Prudie.

Real success demands real work. This year, I plan to muscle through and share my progress. Good luck in your endeavors, too.

Let’s hope we reap the results we wish in 2014.